Hannah Roemhild, a Connecticut opera singer who posted negative things about President Donald Trump on Facebook, was named by authorities as the woman accused of breaching security checkpoints at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
One post on her Facebook page contained a sign reading “not my president” in reference to Trump. In 2016, she indicated support for Bernie Sanders on social media. She’s a registered Democrat, according to Connecticut records.
Roemhild drove a black SUV through two security checkpoints at Mar-a-Lago, leading to shots being fired by authorities protecting Trump’s Palm Beach property, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department.
The incident location was given by authorities as “Mar-a-Lago main entrance.” In the media advisory, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department reported that the Florida Highway Patrol was “in pursuit of a black SUV” when it deviated to Mar-a-Lago. They now say that SUV was being driven by Hannah Roemhild. They also said they don’t suspect a terrorism motive.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Authorities Say Roemhild, Who Posted an Anti Trump Protest Picture in 2017, First Drew Law Enforcement Attention by Dancing on Her Car at the Breakers
Authorities have not specified Roemhild’s motive for allegedly driving through Mar-a-Lago checkpoints. However, in 2017, on Facebook, she posted a photo of anti-Trump women’s protesters in pink p*ssy hats with a protester holding a sign reading, “Not my president. Love trumps hate.”
Here’s that photo:
She also posted a graphic showing Donald Duck appearing to morph into what looks like a caricature of the president.
She’s a registered Democrat:
Here’s the pro Bernie post:
Ric Bradshaw, sheriff of Palm Beach County, said that at about 11:38 a.m. on January 31, 2020, a Florida Highway Patrol officer working a security job at the posh Breakers hotel in West Palm Beach was notified by security that they had a “white female who was acting erratically that was actually up on top of her car doing some kind of a dance.”
Roemhild then got inside the black SUV. The officer walked up to the window to get her attention, and she was “fooling around on the side by where the console was,” according to the sheriff. She tried to put the vehicle in reverse. He kept tapping the window. When she looked like she was putting the vehicle in drive, the officer smashed the window to grab the steering wheel, but it “didn’t work,” said the sheriff. She then drove off.
He caught up with her and then lost her in traffic. She drove toward Mar-a-Lago.
When a pursuit ignited, and she headed toward the president’s estate, authorities weren’t sure what they were dealing with at first, Bradshaw said.
“We didn’t know if it was someone with a car bomb or someone who was going to hit as many pedestrians as possible,” said Bradshaw in a news conference. At that point, authorities opened fire. It was a rental vehicle. She “crashed through” two checkpoints, according to Bradshaw. Guards moved out of the way just in time.
2. Roemhild Is an Opera Singer, According to Her Facebook Page
On Facebook, Roemhild calls herself “Hannah ? ?? ? Sopranah,” and says she’s an opera singer who studied opera at Western Connecticut State University. She also has a professional page with a cover photo showing her singing. She lists performance dates on her Instagram page, including January 28 in Palm Beach.
She wrote that she “Manages Hannah Roemhild – Soprano.” She’s also worked as a nanny for 14 years, according to her LinkedIn page. In college, she was Western Connecticut State University Opera Club president.
“She’s a good girl. She’s incredibly talented,” said Marilyn Malcarne, a Connecticut friend of Roemhild, to the Sun Sentinel. “She has really studied her opera singing and she has an amazing voice.”
In addition to the Trump posts, she posted pictures of travels. Her top visible post is for an ArtSmart fundraiser.
Authorities say Roemhild fled Mar-a-Lago after the gunfire was directed at her vehicle.
The woman was ultimately confronted and arrested at a local motel. The FBI, sheriff’s department and Secret Service are all investigating, and they haven’t interviewed Roemhild yet. There were two females in the vehicle by that point. Roemhild picked up the second woman but that was after the Mar-a-Lago incident, Bradshaw said.
Authorities said a license plate reader went off and alerted authorities that Roemhild’s vehicle was near the airport. It was spotted again, and followed to a local motel.
“The driver jumped out and was trying to flee to a room. The trooper did a great job and tackled and took her into custody there,” said the sheriff. Authorities are now getting search warrants. At one point, she drove on the wrong side of the road, authorities said.
3. Roemhild, Who Is From Connecticut, Was Acting ‘Strange’ at the Breakers, Authorities Say
Hannah Roemhild is 30 years old. She has a Connecticut driver’s license. She is “very astute, very intelligent” and her actions are “very uncharacteristic of her,” a family friend told the Sun Sentinel.
On Facebook, she says she lives in Middletown, Connecticut.
The black SUV “was headed towards two security check points at Mar-A-Lago, in the Town of Palm Beach,” an earlier media advisory said.
The original officer at the Breakers is a sergeant. He was approached by people who said there were complaints that Roemhild was acting “strange,” the sheriff said.
4. Authorities Say Roemhild Has No Criminal Past That They’ve Found
There was no indication of a criminal past for the suspect. “She doesn’t have a past that we can discern right now,” the sheriff said.
The SUV “breached both security checkpoints heading toward the main entrance.” Officers “discharged their firearms at the vehicle. The vehicle fled while being pursued by FHP and PBSO helicopter. The vehicle has now been located and two individuals are currently in custody,” the sheriff’s statement said. FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) is investigating.
FBI agents were responding to the scene.
5. President Trump Wasn’t There at the Time But Is Due Friday Night
Trump is coming to Mar-a-Lago for a Sunday Super Bowl Party and a Saturday gala featuring Roseanne Barr hosted by his fan club, the Trumpettes, according to USA Today.
WTSP-TV reported that a heavy law enforcement presence had descended on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
According to USA Today, about 10 law enforcement officers from multiple agencies were seen near Mar-a-Lago and some had vests with the words “homicide” on them. However, no one was injured in the incident, the sheriff said.
The incident came as impeachment hearings wind down in the U.S. Senate.
Mar-a-Lago is a historic estate. My Palm Beach Post reports that “Marjorie Merriweather Post’s immense Mar-a-Lago opened for the 1927 winter season, crowning 17 ocean-to-lake acres where South Ocean Boulevard meets Southern Boulevard. Today, it’s the last of Palm Beach’s most majestic Jazz Age estates to remain intact, thanks to its two strong-willed owners, Post and Donald Trump.”